HOW A SOLAR DEVELOPER MAKES MONEY

Solar CFO gives our clients the truth about commercial solar to make your transaction completely transparent
Solar CFO gives our clients the truth about commercial solar to make your transaction completely transparent

HOW A SOLAR DEVELOPER MAKES MONEY

Casey Gilley

Casey Gilley

Solar / Commercial Real Estate / Project Finance

If you are familiar with commercial real estate development, the risks and rewards associated with solar development are quite similar. This article will use real estate development as an analogy so you can understand how and when your solar developer is making money on your commercial solar project and you can ensure that you are getting the best deal possible.

So what does a solar developer do anyhow? Like real estate developers, solar developers source a project, line up financing (equity and debt), then design and build the project. Commercial solar is installed by an “EPC” contractor which is the equivalent of a “GC”. Hire an ENGINEER to design and permit the project, PROCURE the solar equipment, then hire a qualified installation crew to perform the CONSTRUCTION.

HERE’S HOW THE SOLAR DEVELOPER MAKES MONEY

A solar developer will make two fees: a development fee / construction management fee and a profit at sale of the project (unless they are building a project with their own funds under a buy-and-hold strategy).

Development fees can vary widely but a range of $0.10 to $0.50 per watt is possible depending upon system size and scale. This equates to about 5% to 15% of total project costs. The profit on a sale of a system is function of the system cost and future electricity revenue from the off-taker, just like real estate has a return on cost metric which is a function of annual rent and building cost.

Like real estate, you can sell a solar development project at different phases: Pre-NTP, NTP, or PTO (more on that later). The value of the project increases as each milestone is reached. Real estate can be sold as raw land, land with entitlements, a completed building, or a fully stabilized building. The phases of a solar project are similar.

NTP (NOTICE TO PROCEED): Finding a solar project and “entitling” it, is where the action is at. This is where solar developers make the highest ROI with a relatively small amount of capital out-of-pocket (around $20,000 for an average commercial solar project). It’s arguably the most difficult part because you are securing a deal. In real estate, a developer can tie-up land, put it in escrow, then start working on the entitlements to build a project. Once the real estate developer has the entitlements, they can close on the land and obtain cheap financing to build a project.

Once a solar developer has a project at NTP, the developer can go to a variety of financing sources including wall street funds, debt lenders, and private investors to obtain financing to build your project. Another option is the developer can sell your entitled project for a profit to an investor who wants to build and own the project. Many large solar funds do not take pre-development risk, so at NTP the pool of investors becomes much larger. Investors are looking to make somewhere around a 10-12% unlevered IRR (after thetax credits) at this point because there is still execution and construction risk. The solar developer is going to make the spread between their out-of-pocket costs and whatever the buyer will pay by backing into the 10-12% IRR target.

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PRE-DEVELOPMENT

Most investors are not willing to take pre-development risk, so the solar developer must use their own cash for expenses leading up to the construction of the project. A solar developer needs a few signed documents and approvals to have a real deal and make money. These are like having entitlements for a piece of raw land to develop for real estate.

Site Control / rights to your roof or parking lot.This can come in the form of lease agreement, easement, or similar agreement. This can also come in the form of an “option” to control your roof / site once all of the approvals are received. For example, the building owner will give the developer exclusive rights to develop their solar project for a period of 6-12 months in exchange for consideration. The developer is incurring legal fees and spending time with the building owner negotiating these documents.

Off-taker PPA (Power Purchase Agreement).All projects need someone buy the electricity produced by the system at a set price.  The buyer is called the “off-taker”. The higher the electricity price, the more valuable the solar project. The price might be fixed or it could be a floating number that mirrors utility costs (i.e. you sell power for 5% less than the utility would have charged). The PPA could be with (A) one or more tenants in a building (NNN leases); (B) the building owner who is charging tenants for electricity and seeking reimbursement (gross leases); (C) the owner-user of a building; or (D) a municipal or government program such as community choice aggregator.

Design & Engineering Documents: A solar system layout, an electrical one line diagram, and a structural analysis of the site to verify the roof can support the system – all stamped by a Professional Engineer will be needed. Once the above documents are obtained, the solar developer can submit to the city or county planning department for approval. Engineering plans will cost the developer $5,000 to $20,000 for a typical commercial real estate project. Engineers can turn around a plan set within 2-4 weeks in most cases and the building permit will take a few weeks as well, depending on jurisdiction.

Interconnection agreement.This is the agreement that allows your building / solar project to feed into the grid of the local utility so that the building can draw power from the grid when solar electricity is not available, but also send any excess power generated by your project back into the grid. The solar developer may choose to submit an application to the utility to obtain approval for interconnection in parallel to the building permit application process. Interconnection costs vary by jurisdiction but about $5,000 is a ballpark estimate. The site layout and one line diagram from the engineering plans will be required to submit Interconnection.

Once the solar developer has all of the above approvals in-hand, this is considered “NTP” or notice-to-proceed.  The hard work is done, and the developer can cash-in for having a deal just like a real estate developer can sell a fully entitled project for a profit.  

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PERMISSION TO OPERATE (PTO)

Now you are at NTP, next step is to procure the equipment and construct the project. Solar developers who want to make even more money will build the project through “PTO” or permission to operate. They will make more overall dollars, but the ROI is much lower because they are fronting all of the hard costs for materials and labor to construct the project.

The engineer should provide the solar developer with an exact bill of materials which can be used to solicit quotes from vendors to procure the equipment. A good system will have Tier 1 panels as rated by Bloomberg with a warranty of 25 years. The final step is to hire a qualified contractor to install the racking, solar panels, and complete all of the wiring for your project. Depending on size, a typical solar project for a commercial real estate building can be installed in about 2-6 weeks once materials arrive on site.

Once the physical components are installed, the system is ready to energize / commission. The contractor will ensure that the system is properly connected to the meter and that the interconnection requirements are met. The city will inspect the site, verify documentation, and then sign off on the final building permit. The formal industry term for this is PTO (permission to operate from the utility). The date the project is actually turned on, and responsibility handed over from the contract to the site owner is COD (Commercial Operation Date). Once the system is at PTO, this similar to a building that has a Certificate of Occupancy.

Execution and construction risk are no longer an issue, which means that even more investors are willing to buy the project from a solar developer. It’s the equivalent of a stabilized project, although there will still be some bugs to work out. At this phase, depending on the ultimate credit of the off-taker (or buyer of the electricity) an investor is looking to earn a 7-9% unlevered IRR.  The cost of the system including the development fee that the solar developer is charging, the PPA price, annual escalations, projected building vacancy, and term of agreement all impact the price that the buyer is willing to pay, and hence impact the overall IRR of solar project.

PORTFOLIO SALE

Like real estate, the institutional funds have a minimum check size to do a transaction. Developers will need to build up a portfolio of at least 2-3 mW of projects. Now they can go sell this portfolio for >$5 million and hopefully make even more money.

At Solar CFO, we are giving our clients the truth about commercial solar and making your transaction completely transparent. Please contact me if you have any questions[email protected] or visit our websitewww.solarcfo.com. P.S. Ask me in a couple years if this is a good path to get rich in the solar business!

Credit Link: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-solar-developer-makes-money-casey-gilley/

Solar farm in B.C. – country’s largest off-grid solar farm

Link to Post Here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/ulkatcho-first-nation-anahim-lake-solar-farm-bc-1.7180682

 

Anahim Lake project, said to be country’s largest off-grid solar farm, will greatly reduce reliance on diesel

Ulkatcho First Nation set to build largest off-grid solar power farm in Canada

2 days ago

Duration3:23

A First Nation in Central B.C. is one step closer to having sustainable and clean energy. The Ulkatcho First Nation is set to build the largest off-grid solar power farm in Canada. CBC’s Janella Hamilton travelled to Anahim Lake to learn more about what the project means to the community.

A First Nation in central British Columbia says it will take a step toward “energy sovereignty” when it builds what officials say will be the largest off-grid solar farm in Canada.

Around 1,500 residents of Anahim Lake, home of the Ulkatcho First Nation, and surrounding small communities currently rely entirely on costly diesel for power.

“If we run out of diesel, then the lights go out. That’s it,” said Ulkatcho Elder Mary Williams.

But once built, the solar farm spanning about 12 hectares (30 acres) will supply up to 70 per cent of the electricity the communities need, according to Chief Lynda Price and B.C. Hydro.

“We believe that solar energy will be the source of our ability, for a lot of our families, to live off the grid,” Price told CBC News on Friday from Anahim Lake, which lies around 380 kilometres northwest of Vancouver in B.C.’s Chilcotin region.

“We’re really excited that this is the first stage of our solar power, and I believe our future generations will benefit.”

An empty field.
The solar farm will be built at the site of a former sawmill in Anahim Lake, and its construction and operation will employ many community members, including those who work at the diesel generator, according to B.C. Hydro CEO Chris O’Riley. (CBC News)

On Friday, the Ulkatcho Energy Corporation (UEC), which owns the project, signed a historic 20-year agreement with B.C. Hydro, promising that the public utility will purchase the energy created by the solar farm and integrate it into power lines and a storage system to serve the community.

The $30-million project — which is receiving $16 million in provincial and federal funding — is expected to produce enough electricity to power about 350 of the area’s 5,000 homes, according to B.C. Hydro.

That transition will reduce the community’s reliance on diesel by approximately 1.1 million litres — equivalent to approximately 3,300 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions — per year, B.C. Hydro CEO Chris O’Riley told CBC at the signing ceremony.

The provincial government has currently committed to reducing reliance on diesel for power by 80 per cent by 2030, and B.C. Hydro says Anahim Lake is one of 44 communities still dependent on the fuel.

“It’s important for people to understand how important this project is as part of our larger climate goals, as part of our reconciliation goals with First Nations,” O’Riley said. “And it really is a beacon for others.”

Security, self-determination

Ulkatcho First Nation elected councillor Corrine Cahoose says the solar farm is an important step for the nation’s economic, environmental and cultural self-determination.

“Our people are very resilient in our nation. We lived through all the colonization and the contact and smallpox and the residential schools, the missionaries,” said Cahoose.

An older woman smiles in a parking lot.
Corrine Cahoose, an Ulkatcho First Nation elected councillor, says the project is important from a practical perspective, but also for the nation’s economic, environmental and cultural self-determination. (CBC News)

“We’re all the knowledge keepers of the land. We know every mountain, we know every tree, we know every metal, we know all the animals, we know where they hang out,” she added.

“We have to be the stewards of that land. We have to protect in every way, and this project is one of the ways.”

Anahim Lake community members and experts say the transition to clean energy is also a practical decision.

Wildfires and icy roads often cause power outages, preventing truckloads of diesel from making it to the remote community before generators run out.

“On the whole, there’s very little drawback to actually putting in place these sorts of projects that again just add energy security and reduce costs for off-grid communities,” said Evan Pivnick, with Clean Energy Canada.

Construction at the site of the First Nation’s former sawmill is set to begin by August and the solar farm is projected to be operational by October 2025, according to the UEC.

The UEC, which is owned by the nation’s economic development corporation, will also feed revenue from the sale of solar power to B.C. Hydro into services, infrastructure, education and housing on the First Nation, according to Price and Cahoose.

“The revenue that’s going to come from this project will ensure that we continue to build a healthy future for our children,” said Cahoose.

WATCH | B.C. encourages First Nations to pitch new energy projects to meet growing demand: 

B.C. Hydro seeks pitches from operators for additional electricity supply

21 days ago

Duration2:08

Colleen Giroux-Schmidt, Clean Energy B.C. board chair, tells BC Today host Michelle Eliot that B.C. Hydro is looking to acquire 3,000 gigawatt hours of electricity per year, which would add five per cent to its current supply.

2024 Budget – Key Takeaways for Canadian Solar Installers

Canada Greener Homes Program

Greener Homes Grant (NRCan):

The first tranche of funding ($2.6B) for the Canadian Greener Homes Grant was fully subscribed in early 2024.  Applicants that received their APA numbers are still eligible to complete their retrofits and claim the grant, but the program is closed for new applicants.

Canada Greener Homes Affordability Program (NRCan):

$800 million over five years, starting in 2025-26, to launch a new Canada Greener Homes Affordability Program that will support the direct installation of energy efficiency retrofits for Canadian households with low- to median-incomes. The budget is clear that this additional $800m is for new NRCan grant funding and is to work with the existing Greener Homes Loan program, but it is now clear that there will be no new grant applications possible in 2024.  This information is found on page 79 of the budget.

Greener Homes Loan (CMHC):

The existing 0% interest, 10yr amortization loan of up to $40,000 is still in place with no change to the application process including pre- and post-audits.  Charge Solar believes that, at the current usage rate, there is sufficient remaining funds for new loan applications through to at least the end of 2024.  We will update our customers as we learn more.  Loan website here.

Investment Tax Credits

Clean Technology ITC:

The Clean Technology ITC provides a 20-30% refundable tax credit for Canadian businesses to invest in clean technologies such as solar and battery storage.  While the eligibility window started in March 2023, the legislation is still working its way through Parliament as Bill C-59.  The budget indicates on page 182 that “With the support and collaboration of Parliamentarians, the government anticipates Bill C-59 receiving Royal Assent before June 1, 2024.”  Further information on the Clean Technology ITC is available on our most recent webinar here.

Clean Electricity ITC:

The Clean Electricity ITC provides a 10-15% refundable tax credit to certain taxable and non-taxable corporations, including corporations owned by municipalities or Indigenous communities, and pension investment corporations who invest in clean electricity generating assets such as solar and battery storage.  The eligibility period started on budget day (April 16, 2024) for projects that did not begin construction before March 28, 2023.  Enabling legislation for this ITC is expected to be introduced later in 2024.

 

April 19, 2024
Melanie Dorocicz
Link: https://www.chargesolar.com/info-center/latest/2024-budget-key-takeaways-for-canadian-solar-installers/

BC Hydro launches call for private wind, solar power producers to feed grid

🔌 BC Hydro Launches Call for Private Wind and Solar Power Producers 🔆 

For the first time in 15 years, BC Hydro is inviting bids from the private sector to address the growing demand for electricity in British Columbia. Crown Corporation announced that it needs an additional 3,000 gigawatt hours of electricity annually, enough to power the equivalent of 270,000 homes or a million electric vehicles. 

Key Points: 

  • Increasing Demand: Demand is forecasted to increase by 15% by 2030, necessitating strategic planning to ensure a continued supply of clean, reliable, and affordable electricity. 
  • Renewable Energy: BC Hydro is seeking proposals for large-scale wind and solar projects, with capacities ranging from 40 to 200 megawatts, aiming to add 3,000 gigawatt hours of electricity annually by 2028. 
  • First Nations Ownership: Successful bids must include a minimum of 25% First Nations ownership, aligning with the goal of fostering economic reconciliation. 
  • Resilience and Sustainability: Diversification of the energy mix aims to make the energy system more resilient in the face of extreme weather conditions. 
  • Economic Impact: Anticipated to generate between $2.3 billion and $3.6 billion in private capital spending and create between 800 and 1,500 jobs annually, contributing to both economic growth and sustainability in the province. 

  

  

BC Hydro launches call for private wind, solar power producers to feed grid 

  

By Simon Little  Global News 

Posted April 3, 2024, 5:50 pm EST 

2 min read: 

  

***Video Link***  

For the first time in 15 years, BC Hydro is calling on the private sector to bid on projects to meet the province’s growing need for electricity.   

Crown Corporation said Wednesday that it needs another 3,000 gigawatt hours of electricity annually, enough to power the equivalent of 270,000 homes or a million electric vehicles. “Demand is forecast to increase by 15 per cent between now and 2030,” Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation Minister Josie Osborne said. “Our job in government and BC Hydro’s job is to plan for the future and ensure that we can continue to supply clean, reliable and affordable electricity that people and businesses need.” The utility is calling for the construction of large-scale wind and solar projects, producing between 40 and 200 megawatts, that could be online as early as 2028.  

  

BC Hydro president and CEO Chris O’Reilly said the competitive process will take a bid’s location and what time of year they produce power into account. “The call for power launching today is one of the most important initiatives we currently have underway,” he said. “It’s a key step to increasing electrification and supporting a growing economy and population across British Columbia, and it will help us ensure that we continue to provide clean, affordable power for generations to come.” Successful bids will also need to have a minimum of 25 per cent First Nations ownership, with the aim of supporting “meaningful economic reconciliation.” First Nations will have access to loans through the Canada Infrastructure Bank to help them buy into the projects, he said.  

  

The current call for bids will be the first in a series, launching every two years. “Each successive call will be tailored to the system’s needs at the time of the call’s design, depending on our projected needs at that point in time,” O’Reilly said. The move comes as BC Hydro seeks to diversify its energy mix. About 87 per cent of electricity in B.C. is currently generated by hydroelectricity, but a multi-year drought has raised concerns about future generating capacity in dry conditions. Last year, the utility was forced to import power due to low reservoir levels.  

  

“We know B.C. will continue to see more extreme weather conditions in the years to come and that is why it is important we diversify how we produce electricity by bringing more wind and solar onto the grid, the costs of which have declined dramatically over the past years,” Osborne said. “This will make our energy system more resilient in the years to come.” The province estimates the new power projects will generate between $2.3 billion and $3.6 billion in private capital spending and create between 800 and 1,500 jobs annually. The call for new power sources is in addition to BC Hydro’s own 10-year capital plan, which earmarks $36 billion to expand transmission lines to mines in B.C.’s northwest, build new substations and lines to housing developments and upgrade infrastructure provincewide.  

  

In Summary, BC Hydro’s recent announcement marks a significant shift as, for the first time in 15 years, they are inviting bids from the private sector to address the growing demand for electricity in British Columbia. With a projected increase in demand by 15% by 2030, Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation Minister Josie Osborne emphasized the importance of planning for the future to ensure a continued supply of clean, reliable, and affordable electricity. The call for bids specifically targets the construction of large-scale wind and solar projects, aiming to add 3,000-gigawatt hours of electricity annually by 2028. Notably, successful bids must include a minimum of 25% First Nations ownership, aligning with the goal of fostering economic reconciliation. This initiative not only seeks to diversify BC Hydro’s energy mix but also aims to make the energy system more resilient in the face of extreme weather conditions. Additionally, it is anticipated to generate significant private capital spending and create hundreds to thousands of jobs annually, contributing to both economic growth and sustainability in the province. 

  

  

Source: https://globalnews.ca/news/10400506/bc-hydro-private-power-call/amp 

 

New B.C. Strata Rules Empower Homeowners with Access to EV Charging Stations

Enhancing Strata Living with Convenient Electric Vehicle Charging

In a significant move, the British Columbia government has introduced new rules that streamline the process for homeowners within strata developments to request electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. These regulations, effective immediately, provide clarity on the procedure for homeowners to make such requests and set specific timelines for strata corporations to respond.

Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon emphasized the importance of ensuring that the absence of EV charging access should not deter individuals from choosing strata living, often considered a more affordable housing option. These regulations align with the province’s commitment to accelerating the transition to zero-emission and electric vehicles.

Key Highlights with “Power My Home”:

  1. Response Timeline: The regulations establish a specific timeline within which strata corporations must respond to a homeowner’s request for an EV charging station. This ensures a prompt and efficient process, promoting the adoption of electric vehicles.
  2. Exclusive Parking Permissions: Strata now has the authority to grant an owner exclusive use of a parking stall for up to five years if the installation of an EV charging station is in response to the owner’s request. This ensures convenient and dedicated parking for EV owners.
  3. Supporting Clean Energy Solutions with “Power My Home”: The regulations mandate strata to obtain an electrical planning report to prepare for necessary upgrades to accommodate low-carbon energy solutions, including EV charging. This move aligns with the recent legislation aimed at expediting the adoption of clean-energy vehicles. Explore more about clean energy at Power My Home.

Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation, highlighted that the surge in electric vehicle adoption in British Columbia necessitates such proactive measures. B.C. passed legislation last month to expedite the transition to zero-emission and electric vehicles.

Electrical Planning Reports:

The regulations require strata to obtain an electrical planning report to facilitate upgrades for low-carbon energy solutions, including EV charging infrastructure. This proactive approach enables strata corporations to plan for associated costs and operations linked to the growing demand for electric vehicles.

Voting Threshold Adjustment:

Part of Bill 22, the Strata Property Amendment Act, introduces a reduction in the voting threshold from three-quarters to a majority for approving decisions related to EV charging equipment.

Regional Implementation:

The deadlines for obtaining electrical planning reports are being phased in over three years. Strata in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, and Greater Victoria are expected to have reports by late 2026, while other areas have until late 2028.

These regulations reflect a balanced solution, according to Tony Gioventu, CEO of the Condominium Home Owners Association, addressing the needs of owners desiring electric vehicles and charging facilities.

For more information about B.C.’s EV charger rebate program, visit goelectricbc.gov.bc.ca

Or email us at [email protected]

 

Empowering Communities with Solar Grid Technology

Welcome to the world of Solar Microgrids, where the sun becomes the driving force behind powering homes, businesses, and farms. In this article, we’ll unravel the concept of Solar Microgrids, their applications, and the transformative impact they bring to communities.

What is a Solar Microgrid?

Solar Microgrids are integrated networks or ‘grids’ of power, functioning much like the shared electricity networks used by you and your neighbors. The key difference lies in the source of energy – solar power. This innovative system captures, stores, and distributes clean electricity to entire communities through the installation of large, high-quality solar panels and batteries in a central location, often referred to as a ‘hub.’ This hub, securely housed beneath the solar panels, completes the microgrid by connecting electrical wiring to nearby houses, businesses, and farms.

The solar microgrid operates similarly to conventional power sources, with the central hub providing on-demand electricity to connected users. Families pay either a flat usage fee or a metered bill, contributing to the collective fund managed by an elected committee of community members. These funds are then utilized for future repairs or expansions of the network.

Solar Microgrids have proven successful in powering homes, hospitals, schools, businesses, irrigation pumps, street lights, and more. In Kenya alone, we have installed 10 solar microgrids with a combined capacity of 25.42 kW, bringing reliable, clean electricity to over 3,000 people.

Where is the Solar Microgrid Appropriate?

Solar Microgrids present a robust solution for rural electrification, particularly in remote communities without access to existing infrastructure. Ideal for small islands, mountainous regions, and remote rural areas, these microgrids thrive in regions with ample sunshine. Storage capabilities enable them to operate even during periods of sparse sunlight, making them versatile and reliable.

The scalability of Solar Microgrids is noteworthy. Systems range from 1.5 kW, supporting 25 homes and 5 businesses, to larger systems with capacities of up to 15 kW, catering to hundreds of households and small businesses. As communities grow, the microgrid can be seamlessly expanded to accommodate more users.

How Does the Solar Microgrid Work?

While Solar Microgrids hold immense potential as a renewable energy solution, their sustainability hinges on community involvement, training, and cooperation. At the heart of our approach is placing communities in control, working hand-in-hand with them from the inception to create a long-term vision and management plan. Discover more about our collaborative journey with communities as partners.

Join us in the solar revolution, where communities are empowered, and sustainable energy becomes a shared reality. Explore Power My Home and Energy Economics for more insights. Ready to embrace solar energy? Take the first step at www.powermyhome.ca.

Light Up 2024 with Solar Power Store’s Amazing New Bifacial Solar Panels – Double the Power, Double the Impact!

Welcome to the Future of Solar Energy with Power My Home and Energy Economics!

If you’ve been exploring new solar panels, you’re in the right place. In our pursuit of staying ahead in the game and ensuring a lifetime assurance for your purchases, we are thrilled to introduce you to our latest innovation: the Bifacial Solar Panel. As we step into the new year of 2024, let’s embark on a journey to discover the incredible potential and advantages of these cutting-edge solar panels brought to you by Power My Home and Energy Economics.

Unlocking the Power of Bifacial Solar Panels:

So, what sets apart the Bifacial Solar Panel? It’s simple—they capture sunlight from both sides, doubling their efficiency and impact. Today, let’s delve into the intricacies of these panels, exploring their effectiveness, advantages, costs, installation tips, and more.

Understanding Bifacial Solar Panels:

A Bifacial solar panel is designed with photovoltaic cells that capture sunlight from both the front and back sides, utilizing reflected light from the ground or other surfaces. Unlike traditional monofacial solar panels, which capture sunlight from only one side, Bifacial Solar Panels can achieve an efficiency boost of up to 30%. This unique feature allows them to harness additional solar energy, especially in environments with reflective surfaces like snow, water, or light-colored terrain.

Harvesting Reflected Light:

Sunlight contains the power of reflection off various substances and surfaces, including ground surfaces. Bifacial cells capture this reflected light, a phenomenon referred to as “Albedo.” This makes Bifacial Solar Panels particularly effective in environments with reflective surfaces, enhancing their efficiency in capturing sunlight.

Types of Bifacial Solar Panels:

  1. Glass-Glass: Exceptional strength and resistance to heavy loads.
  2. Glass-Transparent Back sheet: Efficient bifacial operation with a more cost-effective approach.
  3. Glass-Back sheet: A good balance between efficiency and affordability.

Advantages of Bifacial Solar Panels:

  • Generate 30% more power with dual-sided efficiency.
  • Ideal for ground installations, outperforming rooftop installations.
  • Durability in harsh weather conditions, especially double glass panels.
  • Cost-effective when used in tracking systems, cutting costs by up to 16%.
  • Versatile for various installations, including glass-covered structures.

Disadvantages of Bifacial Solar Panels:

  • Higher initial costs due to increased manufacturing materials.
  • Not suitable for shaded or non-reflective areas.
  • Heavier than regular panels, complicating handling and adjustment.

Installation Considerations:

  • Ground-mounting: Ideal for maximizing reflection from various surfaces.
  • Roof-tops mounting: Less efficient on rooftops due to shading limitations.
  • Floating: Suitable for water surfaces, enhancing overall energy generation.

Expenses of Installing Bifacial Solar Panels:

While Bifacial Solar Panels come with a slightly higher price tag compared to monofacial panels, their enhanced energy production often balances out the additional upfront cost. Generally, expect a bifacial panel to be priced approximately 10 to 20 cents per watt more than its monofacial counterpart.

Cell Structures of Bifacial Solar Panels:

Several cell structures, including PERT, PERL, PERC, IBC, and HIT, offer varying efficiencies and bifacial capabilities. Choose the one that best suits your energy needs.

Effectiveness for Rooftops:

Bifacial Solar Panels are less efficient on rooftops due to shading limitations. Optimal functionality requires substantial space to prevent shading and facilitate effective absorption of reflected light.

Mounting Procedures:

  • Ground-mounting: Offers versatility for capturing light from various angles.
  • Roof-tops mounting: Requires fine-tuning of positioning and tilt for optimal absorption.
  • Floating: Suitable for water surfaces, enhancing overall energy generation.

Installation Tips:

  • Organize spaces under bifacial panels to minimize shadowing.
  • Maintain a minimum height of 101cm above the ground, as per IEEE recommendations.
  • Ensure the strength of mounting systems for proper support.
  • Opt for vertical alignment to reduce back panel blockage and aid in snow removal.
  • Consult a solar expert for the best bifacial panel height.

As we step into 2024, let’s embrace the future of solar energy with Power My Home and Energy Economics’ Bifacial Solar Panels. Double the power, double the impact—because a brighter, sustainable future starts with innovation.

Light up your world with Power My Home and Energy Economics! Visit www.powermyhome.ca

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